Largest net zero commercial building dedicated in Los Angeles

By Jodi Delapaz

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WASHINGTON, June 16, 2016 - The nation's biggest net zero commercial building retrofit, the Net Zero Plus Electric Training Institute (NZP-ETI), was recently dedicated in Greater Los Angeles. The Department of Energy (DOE) defines a “zero net energy (ZNE) building” as one with no net energy consumption, which means that the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is approximately equal to the amount of renewable energy that is created on the site.

The retrofitted NZP-ETI building will actually generate more energy than it consumes each year. The excess energy, which is generated by an onsite photovoltaic solar array, can be stored in the center's battery storage system or discharged back into the electric grid.

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The facility boasts a 144,000-square-foot demonstration center and living laboratory that showcases advanced and emerging clean energy technologies. The exhibits illustrate the future of smart energy-efficiency design, microgrid system integration, energy storage solutions, building resiliency in the wake of natural disasters or grid interruptions and a suite of integrated electrical technologies and controls.

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The center is also an educational facility, training some 1,500 electrical apprentices, journeymen and contractors annually for careers at the leading edge of the electrical industry.

The energy, environmental, economic and community benefits include:

·       51 percent reduced total energy consumption

·       185,000 kilowatt-hours per year (KWh/yr.) more energy than consumed

·       520 metric tons per year reduction of CO2

·       1,500 individuals trained each year for careers in the energy industry

·       A resource for architects, developers and building owners to learn about the integration of advanced technologies

·       Enhanced grid stability and improved natural disaster and emergency response solutions

“This innovative program embodies all we are trying to accomplish in creating a more sustainable region: solar energy; energy efficiency; back-up power; recycled materials; livable workplaces; green jobs; and economic opportunity for everyone,” remarked Mayor Eric Garcetti. “It is the largest net zero plus commercial building retrofit in the U.S. and a great example of how we can transform our existing buildings.”

The building is the result of a partnership between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11 and the Los Angeles Electrical Contractors Association.

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